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Due anni fa

Posted in OpenThoughts

Come scoprire Aaron Swartz mi ha cambiato

English below

Circa due anni fa scoprivo chi era Aaron Swartz. Ed è una di quelle cose che, un po’ per caso, mi ha cambiato la vita. Mi ha spinto a studiare e fare cose che altrimenti non avrei fatto e studiato. Due anni fa cominciavo a leggere il suo blog, e ci sono cose che ogni tanto rileggo, come “What it means to be an intellectual”. Da cui:

What is “this drive”? It’s the tendency to not simply accept things as they are but to want to think about them, to understand them. To not be content to simply feel sad but to ask what sadness means. To not just get a bus pass but to think about the economic reasons getting a bus pass makes sense. I call this tendency the intellectual.

E ancora:

And indeed, all the intellectuals that come to mind write, not because they have to or get paid to, but simply for its own sake. What good is thinking if you can’t share?

Aaron fu un hacker, uno scrittore, un attivista e tantissime altre cose. Ma soprattutto una delle menti più brillanti e lucide della mia generazione. Eppure tragicamente ignorata. Con questo piccolo post a memoria di Aaron, spero che qualcuno in più possa così conoscerlo, il rischio è di dimenticarlo.

In fondo trovate il meraviglioso documentario sulla sua vita.


Almost two years ago I was discovering who Aaron Swartz was. It was one of those things that, a bit randomly, changed my life. He pushed me to study and do things that otherwise I wouldn’t have studied or done. Almost two years ago I started reading his blog, and there are things that I still re-read periodically, like “What it means to be an intellectual”. From that post:

What is “this drive”? It’s the tendency to not simply accept things as they are but to want to think about them, to understand them. To not be content to simply feel sad but to ask what sadness means. To not just get a bus pass but to think about the economic reasons getting a bus pass makes sense. I call this tendency the intellectual.

And again:

And indeed, all the intellectuals that come to mind write, not because they have to or get paid to, but simply for its own sake. What good is thinking if you can’t share?

Aaron was a hacker, a writer, an activist and many other things. But more importantly he was simply one of the most brilliant and lucid minds of my generation. And still he was tragically ignored. With this breif post in the memory of Aaron, I hope some more people will get to know him, as the risk is to forget him.

Here you can find the marvellous documentary about his life.

The internet is the most incredible infrastracture ever built. Human beings learn through dialogues. Open sourcing your ideas means enhancing them. I keep my brain alive reading, writing and coding. Economics student, I'm (slowly) teaching myself Data Science. Hacktivism with www.onData.it folks.

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